John Pennings, MD, FACS, FASMBS

General Surgery, Bariatrics

Dr. John Pennings received his MD degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School, which was followed by a general surgery residency at Emanuel Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, an institution noted for excellence in trauma and critical care. He went on to complete a fellowship in advanced laparoscopic surgery and endoscopy at Oregon Health Sciences University. He was one of the first eight fellows in the nation to complete this highly specialized training.

During this training, Dr. Pennings helped to develop new surgical techniques for esophageal, gastric and colon surgery, and was responsible for educating other surgeons in these new, minimally invasive surgical techniques. Dr. Pennings has also pursued advanced training in bariatric (weight loss) surgical techniques, surgical and endoscopic management of reflux disease, Barrett’s esophagus and non-surgical management of hemorrhoids.

In his twenty year career as a community general surgeon, he founded Minimally Invasive Surgery Northwest, Surgical Bariatrics Northwest, Optifit, and currently is the founder and director of The Northwest Institute for Digestive Surgery.

Dr. Pennings has served in leadership roles as chairman of the department of surgery at Kootenai Medical Center and as chairman of the board of directors at Northwest Specialty Hospital. As part of his involvement at Northwest Specialty Hospital, he oversaw the development of a comprehensive bariatric surgery program and was awarded Center of Excellence in Bariatric Surgery status by the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. He is board certified by the American College of Surgeons, a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a fellow of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons, and an active member of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons. He is committed to surgical excellence and compassionate patient care.

Bariatric Surgery
Endoscopic Procedures
General Surgery

Fellowship Trained


University of Minnesota

Medical School

Emanuel Hospital and Health Center


American Board of Surgery


Board Certified in Digestive Surgery


Idaho Medical Association
American College of Surgeons
American Society of American Surgeons
Idaho Chapter American College of Surgeons
Kootenai-Benewah Medical Society
American Society of Bariatric Surgeons
Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons